Lift them up

"And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the Angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Genesis 21:16-18

This was a young mother who felt alone and abandoned. Her heart was breaking as she sat across from her son and in deep darkness wept as she saw the reality of the darkness surrounding them.

Yet God heard.

And He promises great things.

"Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand."

I have read these verses again and again with tears in my eyes.

Sometimes I feel like Hagar.

Every day, I walk across intersections to sit and talk with little ones. Little ones who are alone and surrounded by darkness.

Violence. Drugs. Hunger. Sickness. Abuse. Death.

A little eight year old curled up on some rags under the bridge.

A seventeen year old fighting back tears as he struggles with hopelessness. His mom passed away and his dad is in jail. He feels alone.

Three brothers struggling to leave the streets and the drugs. They feel trapped.

And every day I walk back across the intersections after sitting and talking and my heart breaks. I see the reality these kids are in. I see the deep darkness surrounding them.

And it breaks me.

Yet there in the brokenness, there is a Savior. A God who hears the cries of these little ones. A God who hears my cries. A God who answers.

"Fear not!"

And I lay all my worries, doubts, "What ifs", and fear at the feet of my Savior.

"Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand."

And I find so much beauty in that phrase. God is not calling me to save these children. He is calling me to lift them up and hold them fast.

To see them.

To walk across the road and sit with them.

To listen to them.

To love them.

To hold them fast.

To lift them up in prayer knowing that God is at work.

"For I will make him into a great nation."

My prayer is that these boys and girls would know Jesus.

That they would experience His love.

That they would be called children of God.

For God hears their cries and their prayers.

God loves these precious ones.

And He is calling us to lift them up and hold them fast.

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